When I was a child I wanted to be a painter.
But I could not draw straight lines.
Some of my friends could draw a hundred lines side by side, straight as rulers without using one. They could draw a portrait with a few pencil strokes, or slap a few brushstrokes and conjure a colorful sunset out of nowhere as if by magic. Most of all, they could draw a scene and make it look so real.
I was struck in awe, but I could not draw straight lines.
Many years later, I had my first camera, a point and shoot in the film days. When I saw the print of my first shots I thought, “Aha! I have a short cut! With one click, I could recreate the scene in front of me, capture the sunset and take portraits just like that. I don’t need to draw straight lines!”
But it was not as simple as I thought. The camera is not a brush and the print is not a canvass. I don’t have to learn how to draw straight lines, but I have to learn how to see.
I haven’t stopped learning.